Point Park men fall behind by 12 at half, lose close late at Berea (KY)
Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Babatunde Somoye had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the loss at Berea (Ky.). Photo by Evan Skowvron.
BEREA, Ky. -- The Point Park University men's basketball team once again fell behind at the half and lost close late in a KIAC game, this time dropping a 96-90 decision at Berea (Ky.) College on Friday night.
The Pioneers (10-7, 4-5 KIAC) had their season-long, five-game win streak stopped after falling behind by 12 points, 48-36, at halftime. Point Park shot just 34 percent from the field and 4 for 17 (23.5 percent) from long range the first 20 minutes in falling behind.
And despite a second half in which they put up 54 points, the Pioneers fell short by a couple of possessions in what ended up being a shootout loss to Berea (10-7, 2-0 KIAC).
It was the third time this year that Point Park trailed by double digits midway through a KIAC road game only to lose late by a couple of possessions. The Pioneers lost similarly at IU Southeast, 96-91, and at Brescia, 94-93 (OT), earlier this year and are now 4-5 KIAC.
Gabe McNeal, a junior guard from Richmond, Va., who averaged 19.0 ppg during Point Park's five-game win streak, had another big game with 29 points and 10 rebounds at Berea. The 6-1 McNeal was 4 of 8 from 3-point range.
Jimmy Taylor, a 6-1, senior guard from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Keystone Oaks, scored 19 points and was 3 of 7 from long range. Point Park was 9 of 30 from outside the arc with McNeal and Taylor combining to go 7 for 15.
Babatunde Somoye, a 6-9 senior from London, England, posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds on 5 of 8 field goals. Pioneers point guard T.J. Heatherington came close to a triple-double with eight points, six rebounds and nine assists. Forward Matt Noszka chipped in eight points and eight rebounds.
Berea got good production from its guards as Seth Beckham put in 23 points, and Aaron Ponder had 21. Forward Tevin Webster got it done down low with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
A Berea team that leads the KIAC in scoring defense and is second in field-goal percentage defense held Point Park to 39-percent shooting. The Point Park defense held Berea to just 38-percent shooting from the floor, but the Mountaineers made good with a lot of free throw attempts.
Berea was 32 for 40 from the foul line, which outscored Point Park's 11-for-18 effort by 21 points at the charity stripe.
After being down, 48-36, at the half, Point Park was still trailing, 53-43, with 16:44 left. Although Point Park got the deficit down to a single possession at 65-62 at the 10:47 mark, the lead was back up to near double-digits at 81-72 five minutes later.
Taylor knocked down a couple of free throws to pull Point Park within 88-85 with just over a minute to go. And the Pioneers got back possesion with the same score only to miss a potential tying trey. That's when Point Park was whistled for a technical foul that helped Berea go up, 91-85, with 34 seconds left.
Point Park will continue its road trip in Kentucky with a game versus St. Louis College of Pharmacy on Sunday (Jan. 13) at neutral site Midway (Ky.) College. Game time is 2 p.m. ET. LISTEN LIVE on internet radio at MSAsports.net